3D CAD - a mix of projects

Although CAD is not my main focus nowadays, it is a powerful tool to use when you want to materialize your concepts. It can be really helpful when evaluating different surface finishes, and to create somewhat realistic images of products (I’m not fully there yet!).

Here you will find some projects I have worked on at Chalmers. None of them are perfect but hopefully they can inspire and demonstrate a design- and learning-process.

Class A surfaces

The assignment in this course was to choose a car brand and create a model of the car. The challenging part was to create surfaces with high continuity, meaning that they would connect smoothly and eventually look good if they were to be manufactured. We were a group of three students working on the same model, meaning we had to divide the areas and later on merge them into one. I was working on the front.

Below are some of the renders that we created in the software Autodesk VRED. Can you see which car brand we chose?

Class A Surfaces, front
Class A Surfaces, blue frontClass A Surfaces, orange front
Class A Surfaces, white frontCar with environmentModel surfacesModel Curves

It was both fun and frustrating to work on this project. The continuity of the surfaces was time consuming to create and modify, however, in the end we managed to put all parts together into a simplified MiniCooper, and we learned a lot on the way. Creating a high quality surface requires patience and hard work.

Form case studies - metals

Another project at Chalmers, this time with focus on manufacturing and how to adapt the design to the manufacturing technique. It was also a practice in using methods to analyze and identify design cues - what are the details that make products within a certain brand or product line look like they all belong together?

The assignment

Create a bike accessory, using the design cues from a brand of your choice.

In this project, the Swedish brand KLONG was chosen to analyze. A product was then created based on the identified design cues. The object itself turned out to be rather useless, but I still think it was a fun practice!

Some of the identified design cues were: visible metallic, details on top, round base, symmetrical, one color, cylindric and thin details. These were used in the ideation process as seen below.

Ideation process

Rapid prototypes

Rapid prototypes were created to evaluate some of the ideas. When working with physical products, I find it helpful to evaluate or even generate concepts by using some physical elements that a sketch can’t mediate. Can you guess what this product is yet?

Rapid prototypes

CAD to evaluate different surface finishes

In this project I was free to use any tools and techniques that I found to be suitable. Here, I decided to create CAD models and some quick renders to see how different surface treatments would affect the appearance. The use of CAD in this stage was convenient, as it just takes a few clicks to apply a different material or structure to your design.

Model bottleModel 1
Cad variants
Metallic holderMetallic holder #2
Metallic holder inside view

The result

In the end, the styling decision was to use form elements are inspired by BLAD series and CONSTELLA candle holders to fit the KLONG product portfolio. The materials I considered were aluminum and stainless steel, both known to be resistant, recyclable and have good ductile properties. Both are suitable for the manufacturing technique metal spinning.

The final concept consists of one material only, stainless steel, where the glossy surface acts as a protection against the environment, as this object is intended for outdoor use.

Metallic holder frontal viewMetallic holder view from underneath

Far from all products make it to the market. My recommendation is to let this one remain as a concept and not waste any resources on producing objects that won’t make anyone’s life easier. (Yes, it is a bottle holder, supposed to be mounted on a bicycle...)

The kitchen radio

When I started at Chalmers, kitchen radios were still a thing. In this assignment, a radio was designed to fit the needs of a persona. The teachers were pushing me to produce what felt like an infinite amount of sketches before I was allowed to move on to the CAD.

Looking back on this experience it was probably the first time I had to produce so many variants of a design before anything was approved. A good learning experience even if I have to admit that I felt a bit frustrated at the time.

Kitchen radio sketch #1Kitchen radio sketch #2
Kitchen radio sketch #3Kitchen radio sketch #4
Kitchen radio rendering #2Kitchen radio rendering #1
Kitchen radio rendering #3Kitchen radio rendering #4
Kitchen radio in room

The assignment was also to place the radio in an environment. I found this kitchen which I thought fitted well, but the teachers did not fully agree, as the render is not really showing much of the product. I could just as well be selling kitchen furniture, or beer?

Previous projectBack to startNext project